The most hotly debated topic in the digital media industry is how to make money and it is to the entertainment sector that many involved in the industry are directing their focus.
The Internet, digital television, home media centres, and mobile devices are all being used to deliver entertainment services. Set-top boxes are seen as the key to digital television service take-up around the world; HDTV, DVRs, home media centres and Internet services are also set to drive entertainment growth.
Internet media companies (like, Google, etc) are exploiting the added speed and capacity offered by broadband infrastructure, which will result in a whole range of new applications continuing to enter the market over the next decade, according to Paul Budde Communications.
The UK continues to be a leader in digital television penetration, however, this is expected to change over the next five years as take-up accelerates in other parts of the world, particularly Asia. In 2008 Asia/Pacific is expected to overtake North America and Europe in terms of set-top box sales.
With the development of broadband, interactive TV is back in favour again. Many TV programs now have an interactive element to them, particularly in the Asian and European markets.
Video applications over broadband have emerged over the last couple years. In only a few instances, however, does Budde see an opportunity for IPTV -- the reality is that the telcos will find it pretty tough competing with cable and pay TV operators.
However, as PCCW has shown, it can be done. The market is progressing; in 2008 there are initial global standards and architecture specifications in place and interesting developments are taking place in Europe (particularly France and Italy), China, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.
Video consumption via the Internet is producing promising statistics and advertisers have begun to take serious note. In the US around one in every three videos watched online is done via a Google property (primarily YouTube) -- evidence that this industry leader continues to dominate.
In 2008 it will be interesting to watch the impact of Hulu upon the online video market in the US. Launched by NBC Universal and News Corp's Fox, Hulu offers access to advertising-supported television shows, movies and other video -- differentiating itself from sites such as YouTube, which are based on content generated by the users.